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University of Kentucky gives John Calipari lifetime contract

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Midwest Regional - Kansas City - Practice Sessions
Posted at 7:32 PM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 19:38:29-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Calipari confirmed that he has agreed to a lifetime contract with Kentucky but said it had nothing to do with recent overtures from UCLA to try to resurrect the once-greatest dynasty in college basketball.

"It has nothing to do with the other stuff ... People call every year," he said on his radio show Monday. "They presented it to me and I appreciate it."

"Where else would I want to coach?" he added.

In the deal, Calipari gets a contract extension as basketball coach and a paid role as an ambassador after his retirement, ESPN reported.

"We can confirm that the University of Kentucky has agreed to terms on a long-term contract with Coach Calipari to finish his career at Kentucky," a school spokesperson said.

Calipari, whose current contract at Kentucky runs through 2024, is the highest-paid basketball coach in the country, with total compensation of $9.2 million this year, according to the USA Today Sports database. He also receives a reported retention bonus of $2.6 million in each of the next three Julys.

Kentucky (30-7) earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and advancedd to the Elite Eight before losing to Auburn 77-71 on Sunday.

Calipari has been to four Final Fours with Kentucky, in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, winning the national championship in 2012.

Calipari, 60, has a 305-71 record at Kentucky.